January 16, 2014

Finally Free

As I've been walking through my journey to healing, I have come to realize that in order to come out on the other side, clean, whole, alive and well, I need to walk through all that I have stuffed, all that I have tried to ignore. The more I stuffed the emotions of my pain, the more I became bitter and angry. Not only at Jehovah, but at those I love the most. 

It came to pass about 6 months ago. Right before I got the invitation to join this the lovely Jo Ann Fore's book launch group for When a Woman Finds Her Voice.  Before we get to that, however, I need to tell you, my emotions, thoughts and feelings were controlled by the one who loves to deceive, Satan. I let my thoughts turn bitter against my marriage and towards my daughter, often lashing out at both my husband and my girl and making them feel like I didn't love them.

That point, 6 months ago, was the bottom. I had a huge argument with my husband because it all came crashing in, making me feel like I had nothing left. He left (because he had a job trip he could not get out of), I stayed on the couch all day and went into a deep depression. Two days later, I receive an email, Subject: "When A Woman Finds Her Voice Launch Team", First paragraph: "Congratulations, you made the team! I couldn't be more excited to be on this journey with you. Thank you from the depths of my heart for joining us. I cannot wait to see what God has in store." And I knew at that moment, right then and there, Jehovah was telling me, now's the time, heal and be free.

Through meeting the amazing women of this launch team, reading Jo Ann Fore's book through several times and actually wanting and believing in my heart I could heal and finally become free, I have. I know, many of you don't know all that I have been through, so, this may seem like a small feat, and I will get to all that eventually, however, I know, without a doubt, I am actually and truly free. I have reached that point where I can look back on my life and say I can see Jehovah there with me, right along side of me, guiding me along the way.  Even though, yes, I went through things no human being should ever have to go through, I know now that He will use all my pain to heal others.

My journey, however, is not done. Although I feel I am free, I know part of my journey will be, and should be, telling my story. More to come on that to come.

Please pray with me?

My Dearest Heavenly Father, Jehovah:

I pray for me and for the one reading this. I pray that you continue your work in healing both of us, healing our past hurts, so that we may continue our focus on You and what You want in our lives.

In Your Son, Jesus' Name: AMEN

Have a Blessed Day!


October 17, 2013

The Pain of Others

When I hear or see something that pains another person, I feel their pain too. I have always thought that I need to protect myself from that. But, because of my need to draw closer to Jehovah and my newly found voice, I am wondering if that line of thinking was wrong. Is there a purpose for the pain I feel for others?

My first experience of feeling the pain of others was when I was a very young girl, maybe around 4 or so. I heard my mom crying in her bedroom. I came in and found her weeping. I didn't know why she was so upset. She was on the phone and I tried to get her to look at me, to tell me what was wrong but she couldn't. In that moment, all I could feel was the pain she was feeling and started weeping too. Now, I don't discount she had every right to be crying (she had just learned her best-friends 10 year old daughter had died) but her reaction to me crying was one of "why are you crying, you don't even know what happened, why I am crying." At that moment, I learned that unless you know what is going on, you have no right to join me in my pain. Although my heart still felt the pain of others, I kept it in, because that's what you do.

However, as life when on, I let a few drops of pain slip through and made them shown, made them known, let them affect my emotions. The trouble with that is I suffer from depression. So, in order to protect myself from the downward spiral of that dark place, I again stuffed the pain I felt for others.

As I have grown in my relationship with Jehovah, a funny thing has happened. I am allowing myself to feel the pain for others again.  Allowing myself to relate, to join in that pain and to help those heal from whatever pain they are feeling. So, again, I ask, is there a purpose for the pain I feel for others?

I truly feel there is! 

How can we help heal others from their pain, if we don't feel that pain right along    side them? 

How can we direct them to a God who completely understand their pain if we can't understand their pain?

This is my purpose for the pain I feel for others, to help others heal.  It is okay to allow those emotions in.  Because in the end, we know that Jehovah is right there with us, feeling it with us and helping us direct them to Him for healing.

Today I am linking up with other women who are writing about Pain for a Purpose.  Please follow the link below to read their amazing stories.

Jo Ann Fore

Have a Blessed Day!

October 9, 2013

Do You Hear That? The Sound of God's Voice?

This morning, I was praying to Jehovah, asking Him if what I was doing, this blog, finding my voice, my quest for the real truth, was the path He truly wanted me on.

You see, the doubt, starts really small. I can hear a comment from someone, and that just snowballs into full blown doubt. Satan works that way. Satan takes the smallest comment, action or thought and makes it grow until you can't think of anything else. At this point, I always have to remind myself, and sometimes it is hard, to pray. Get on my knees, have some quite time with absolutely no interruptions and pray, earnestly and honestly to Jehovah.

So, this morning, I was praying, earnestly for Jehovah to hear and answer my cry. As I was praying I had my music on shuffle and this song came on:

About half way through the middle, I started crying, deep cleansing sobs.  This was Jehovah's way of telling me that he is here, he is with me, he loves me and that I am truly doing what he has asked of me.

Sometimes Jehovah's voice is subtle, sometimes it is a quiet word from a friend, sometimes a blaring song pointing to the fact that he is here. How often do I just shake that feeling off, not listen to what He is trying to tell me?  All too often, I'm afraid.

Please pray this prayer with me, for you?

Our Dearest Loving Heavenly Father Jehovah:

Today I come to you to pray that I never loose sight of your voice.  Please teach me to learn to hear, listen and act on the sound of your voice.  I pray that whenever I hear your voice, that I take it at face value, that it IS you talking to me.  I pray that I NEVER doubt that what I am hearing is your voice.  As long as it aligns with your Word, Jehovah, I will know it is from you.

In Jesus' Name: AMEN

Photo Credit: Gay Idle

I am liking up with other beautiful ladies whom have learned to listen for the sweet sound of God's voice. Please follow this link to read their stories.

Jo Ann Fore

Have a blessed day!

October 2, 2013

How Do I Forgive?

Have I forgiven the one person who hurt me most? My abuser, my molester.   

I saw the obituary about three years ago. I just sat there, shocked, confused, angry, hurt and sad. Oh my, all those emotions rolled into one. I couldn't think. So, I sent a text off to my best friend. Thinking maybe she would know, would help me handle all that was going through my mind. She replied, call me. So, I did. And she asked me the one question I could not answer nor even ask myself. "Have you forgiven him?"

Well now, that through me for a total and complete loop. How do I forgive someone who abused the father/daughter-like relationship we had? How do I forgive someone who took all that innocence that a young little girl is supposed to have? How do I forgive someone who took the freedom of a happy childhood away? How do I forgive someone who taught this young girl to silence her voice, that her voice would not be believed if she used it?  How do I forgive someone for doing something I don't even fully remember them doing?

I knew at that moment, even though he was no longer around (I suspect he died from alcohol abuse, although I have never been told nor do I really care, all I care about at this point is that he is no longer able to hurt little impressionable girls.) that the most important step to me being able to form some sense of what happened all those years ago is that I needed to forgive him for what he did to me.

Have I forgiven him, even after all these years of thinking I have? I still don't know for sure. I do pray about it. I do ask Jehovah to help me let go. However when I think of that little girl, that little girl I so want to protect now but I know I can't, and all the pain, confusion, hurt, and loneliness she had, I'm not sure.

Please pray with me?

My Dearest Loving Father, Jehovah,

Today I come to you to ask that you help me search my heart, help me to completely and fully forgive this man. I know that this, this one thing I need to do before I can fully live free from this hard time, this silencing of my voice. But I now realize I need your total and complete help. Please help me to lean on you when this forgiveness gets hard, when I have all those feelings come back up. I pray Jehovah that you help me to find my voice again. You know I deeply regret not saying something to someone when I started to remember again so that maybe no other girls had to go through what I went through. Please Jehovah, I am begging, on my knees asking that you send your holy spirit to help me forgive so that I may help others do the same.

In Your Son's Name, Jesus, I pray this prayer.  Amen

As I was praying, this thought came to mind, maybe I will post on it another day: How do I forgive myself?  Forgive myself for not forcing my voice to be heard? For not stopping the abuse so that others may not have been abused?

Today I am pledging to use my voice, to use my voice to honor Jehovah, to use my voice to allow myself to heal so that I may someday help others heal from their past. Will you take the pledge with me? Please visit this link if you will.

Today I am also linking-up with some amazing women. Please click this link below to follow their stories on forgiveness, why we need it and their stories of healing found from forgiveness. I pray these posts bless you.

Jo Ann Fore

Have a blessed day!

September 23, 2013

Meet Me On The Street

If you meet me on the street: I won't look you in the eye. If you try and say hi, I will mumble something and walk away. You see, from a very young age I have detested community or connection of any type. This type of connection within community is harmful and hurtful. I have learned, through various hurts, pains and trials, that you can't trust community.

Yet I always longed for the connection that community brings. This was all very confusing to me.  To crave the very thing that hurt me?

What I now realize, what I was missing was the true deep connection that can be found through a Christ centered community. I now realize that. I get it. Through some very strong prayers and Jehovah leading me to places I didn't even know existed, I am finding a community of beautiful women who love and support each other no matter what. I know, without a doubt, nothing can replace the joy and peace that can come from live conversations with women of like minds, but for now, I have found a great on-line community where I am safe to voice my opinions and open up my heart without fear of being personally ridiculed and judged. And eventually I may be able to, lift up my face and meet you eye to eye.

Please follow these women by clicking the picture below to read the link-up and how we all have been shaped and molded by our experiences with community, whether good or bad.

Jo Ann Fore

Have a blessed day!

September 18, 2013

Why Have Masks Become So Important In Our Everyday Lives

"Masks?", you say. "What, are we going to a ball, are we preparing for Halloween?"

No, I am talking about the masks we women wear in our everyday lives.

The masks we wear when we attend a church service.  We may silently say, "Oh dear, please don't let someone see I am not perfect, that I yelled at my daughter because she wasn't on my time line this morning to get out the door." or "Please don't let someone see that I am truly hurting on the inside, I just want to attend service and go home so I can "wallow" in my misery."

The masks we wear when we attend a family gathering. We may silently say, "Please, oh please, don't let me say something that will cause an argument or that will cause someone else to hurt, let me keep my silence up for the sake of supposed peace." or "Let's not talk about what happened all those years ago, no need to bring all that hurt and pain up to the surface, plus we don't want littles to over-hear and start asking questions, it is best to keep them in the dark."

The masks we wear when we attend a school function or parent teacher conference.  We may silently say, "I need to make sure I wear the right clothes, I don't want the other parents to see how much we are struggling financially." or "I need to make sure that I speak the right way to the teacher, I don't want her thinking I am less than, I don't want her knowing that I don't have any education beyond High School."

Or many other masks you can think of.  In reality, we wear masks all the time and for every situation that makes us uncomfortable.

You see, all these masks hide what we truly think and feel on the inside.  Wearing these masks may allow us to get through something we find difficult but in the end, these masks make us feel even worse.  We allow our minds to believe these lies we tell ourselves that we need to mask who we really are.

I know, I have believed, still believe these masks are necessary to survive everyday life.

But my outlook is starting to change.  In my quest to find my voice, I have learned that it is necessary to take down those masks.  We need to show our true selves.  We need to allow Jehovah to shine through those cracks in our masks and allow Him to crash completely through. A section in Jo Ann Fore's book When A Woman Finds Her Voice talks about the masks we wear and why.  It helped me realize that I wear masks everyday and in every situation.  Whether it be for self-preservation or to hide my true self because I feel inferior.  I am finding that what we are hiding is the very thing Jehovah wants us show.  What He wants the world to know about us.  The true, deep down, scared and hurt women we are.  So as to allow Him to shine through us so that others can see His Glory.

Jo Ann Fore

Please click on the picture above to read Jo Ann Fore's blog post about masks and at the bottom of her post follow all the other amazing women as they tell their stories about the masks they wear and why.

Today I challenge you to let Jehovah crash through the masks you wear and have a blessed day!

Let Me See "Beneath Your Beautiful" ~ Masks

To start off this post as you follow along with my heart journey, I am going to share a shortened version the the song "Beneath Your Beautiful" performed by Labrinth and featuring Emeli Sandé:

You've carried on so long
You couldn't stop if you tried it
You've built your wall so high
That no one could climb it
But i'm gonna try
Would you let me see beneath your beautiful
Would you let me see beneath your perfect
Take it off now girl, take it off now girl
I wanna see inside
Would you let me see beneath your beautiful tonight
You've carried on so long
You couldn't stop if you tried it
You've built your wall so high
That no one could climb it
But i'm gonna try
Would you let me, see beneath your beautiful
Would you let me, see beneath your perfect
Take it off now boy, take it off now boy
I wanna see inside
Would you let me see beneath your beautiful tonight?
I just wanna know
Would you let me see beneath your beautiful
Would you let me see beneath your perfect
Take it off now boy, take it off now girl
Cause I wanna see inside
Would you let me see beneath your beautiful tonight?
Songwriters ~ Sande, Emeli / Mckenzie, Timothy / Posner, Mike

In elementary I learned that being beautiful was wearing the right clothes (I was always teased because my mom didn't have the money to spend on the name brand clothing) or have the right look (to make it easier on my mom, she cut my hair short, so, that made me look like a boy or if it was a styled cut she didn't have time to help me style it).  

Finally, When I could afford it myself, I bought into the whole charade when I was in High School:  

I thought if I got a perm and try to make my hair nicer, maybe people would like me better. 

I thought if I wear makeup and make my face look nicer, maybe people would like me better.  

I thought if I buy clothes that are in style (we still could not afford name brand clothing but I found several places in town I could shop that had cheaper versions of name brands), maybe people would like me better. 

After I was married, I completely stopped caring what I looked like. I sometimes (it is embarrassing to admit) even didn't take a shower. Falling into a depression that took years for me to realize and come out of, I didn't take care of myself.  

After a move to a town near my home town, I was approached by a local woman who sold make-up. I again, bought into the "you have to wear make-up to be beautiful" lie. I bought all the make-up I could and started selling make-up too. Still in my depression (and not realizing it), the pressure to sell and promote my new business made me feel even worse about myself. I eventually left the business but continued to buy product from her (and still do today).  Disclaimer: I am not saying that the direct sales make-up business isn't a great one. I know some amazingly wonderful ladies who are still involved in the business and thrive in it. It just wasn't for me and my outlook on life at the time.

Still through it all, I truly believed that in order to feel well on the inside, you had to look well on the outside. What I didn't realize then, that I do now, is that for some women, that is a mask. I was trying to mask how I felt on the inside with how I looked on the outside. This kind of mask is what I call a complete mask, a masking of the soul. I was masking, very unsuccessfully, all the hurt and pain I have inside. 

And yet again, what I was missing from all that, was Jehovah, my one true Father. Over time, I have learned to wear my hurt proudly. To not "make-up" myself to mask all that hurt. To let others see I am the same on the inside as I am on the outside. To not care what others think, because what matters most is how God sees me and how I feel about myself. When I started letting all that go, became the point when I truly felt I am beautiful. I am at the point in my life where I can "take off my mask," show my true self and start to allow Jehovah to shine through me. And let me tell you, it feels GREAT!

"We intend to hide our shortcomings, and the fear inside our hearts, but instead, we hide our beauty, our true selves." ~ Jo Ann Fore

Jo Ann Fore

Please click the picture above to read other beautiful women's stories about masks and why we wear them. Watch what happens When A Woman Finds Her Voice.

I challenge you to take off your masks, let the world see beneath your beautiful and have a blessed day!